This 72 Hour Cold Ferment Pizza Dough recipe is easy to make, has delicious air pockets, and a flavorful crust. It only requires 20 minutes of your time to make.
Cold-fermented pizza dough improves both texture and flavor. This recipe uses 80% dough hydration because we want soft pizza dough. After mixing the ingredients together, the pizza dough is left untouched in the refrigerator to ferment and develop that delicious pizza crust flavor. It’s soft with perfect air pockets and full of flavor.
When fermented at room temperature, yeasts consume sugars quickly, halting the production of more gases and flavor compounds. When fermented at cold temperatures, yeasts produce carbon dioxide and other molecules slowly and steadily; therefore, refrigerating the pizza dough allows yeast to leaven slowly and steadily, providing more time for a more complex flavor to develop.
This pizza dough is easy to make; we recommend having a scale to measure the grams of each ingredient for the best results.
Mix the Dough.
Heat water to 80° F, and add the instant yeast.
Add flour and salt to a large bowl and toss together.
Add the water and yeast mixture to the bowl, and use a spatula to mix everything until a dough forms.
Fold Pizza Dough.
Wet your hand and start folding the dough by grabbing the bottom, stretching it up and out, and folding it over on top. Rotate the bowl clockwise and repeat about 5 times until the dough no longer breaks when stretched and becomes springy.
If need to, transfer to a floured surface and repeat.
Cut Dough in Half.
Divide the dough into 2 dough balls, weighing about 600 grams each.
Fold Dough, add Olive Oil, and Rest.
Repeat folding each dough once more and then transfer them to 2 separate medium bowls. Add olive oil on top and spread it all over the dough. Cover with plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for 24 – 72 hours.
Roll Out Pizza Dough.
Remove the dough from the fridge, and generously flour a surface. Roll out the dough to make a medium-sized pizza (8 slices).
If only using 1 of the doughs, transfer the other dough to a large plastic bag and store the dough in the freezer for up to 5 months.
Up to 72 hours is the desirable timeframe for maximum flavor. But having the dough ferment for up to 12 hours and 24 hours is also good. After 72 hours, transfer unused pizza dough to the freezer until ready to use.
Doughs that are shaped and proofed after a slow, cold fermentation demonstrate a noticeably better flavor and better structure.
Yes, all Neapolitan-style dough requires at least 24 hours to cold-ferment. Neapolitan pizza dough is kneaded and fermented for 2 hours at room temperature; then, it is transferred to the refrigerator to continue fermenting overnight in a chilled environment.
After 72 hours, you will want to store the leftover dough in the freezer until ready to use. Take it out of the freezer to thaw the night before in the fridge.
Our Same Day Pizza Dough Recipe is a great option if you’re in a time crunch and need a pizza dough recipe for tonight’s dinner. Or, check out our Poolish Pizza Dough recipe or our Same Day Pizza Dough recipe.
Here are some of our favorite pizza recipes with our cold fermented pizza dough recipe.
This 72 hour cold ferment pizza dough is easy to make and flavorful. While 72 hours is the ideal fermenting time, you can still make pizza the next day or within 48 hours. It will still have great flavor, and you can’t go wrong with this homemade pizza dough recipe.
We hope you all love this pizza dough recipe as much as we do! Our favorite way to use this dough is for calzones! Enjoy! ♡
Did you try our 72 Hour Cold Ferment Pizza Dough recipe? Please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. I love hearing from you! ♡
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Way too wet. Needed at least 100g of additional flour to form a ball.
Hi Lauren, I’m sorry that you needed to add more flour to form a ball. Dough hydration is important with this pizza dough because it develops the full flavor of fermentation and texture when baked. They may be sticky and trickier to work with, but once you have made pizza dough several times with the hydration in mind, it will get easier. Thanks for your feedback – I will add a note to my recipe that these pizza doughs are stickier, and more flour is needed to toss each dough ball, top and bottom, before shaping. Could you share how the final pizza dough turned out after adding 100g of flour?